Mesopotamia, one of the most important places in the history of humanity. In this small group tour, you will see some of the world’s oldest buildings and artifacts, including the Göbekli Tepe Temple which, at 12,000 years old, is the first known temple on the world. After visiting this UNESCO World Heritage site, you will continue to travel through ancient history to Sumeria, where the first human alphabet was invented, and Babylon to see the the Sun and Moon gods. Then, moving between the storied Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, you start to see and feel how history still lives as people maintain their connection with their past in their architecture and lifestyle.
September 2-8, 2019
Newroz / Spring Festival: March 19-25, 2020
Do you have a date in mind? If you have a group of 6+ travelers and photography lovers that would like to go to Mesopotamia, let us know!
Mesopotamia, Turkey | Urfa - Göbekli Tepe - Mardin - Hassankeyf - Diyarbakır - Mount Nemrut
Murat Yazar was born in Mesopotamia in Turkey. He has worked on many photography assignments in the region. muratyazar.info
Day 1 - Arrive in Urfa (Sanliurfa) in the morning (non-stop flights available from Istanbul). Breakfast in city center and leave bags at hotel (Manici). Visit old city center with its castle, bazaar and beautiful reflecting pool. Lunch will be near the castle in a traditional restaurant, followed by guided visits to museums of archeology and ancient mosaics. At sunset, we will visit the castle and take in daily life with a view of the city. After dinner, we will walk in the old town for some evening photography.
Day 2 - Early breakfast at hotel and then to the 12,000 year old Göbekli Tepe temple by minivan, returning to the city center for lunch and free time. In the afternoon, we will have a walk in the historic streets and then go to the nearby town of Harran. Its unique adobe architecture is juxtaposed with a castle and the ruins of one of the most ancient universities in the world, ideal for street photography. Dinner will be in Urfa at a traditional center, featuring live music while you dine.
Day 3 – Following breakfast in Urfa, transfer to hotel in Mardin. The city is built on the side of a mountain above the vast Mesopotamian plain, affording expansive daytime and sunset views. In the city, Kurdish, Turkish, Arabic, Syriac and other cultures live together, which is reflected in the architecture, street life and buildings we will visit. At dinner, you will sample traditional Syriac foods and drinks. Dinner is followed by a walk in the old city and a chance to sample Syriac wine.
Day 4 – Following breakfast, visit Midyat, a primarily Syriac town, with appealing old stone architecture, traditional silver jewelry, wine and daily life—a wonderful location for street photography. Lunch and the afternoon will be in the town of Hassankeyf, one of the last opportunities to visit this lovely site on the Tigris River, soon to be inundated by a dam project and submerged in the reservoir. After taking sunset photos, on to Diyarbakır for two nights.
Day 5 - Diyarbakir is surrounded by an ancient wall that is the second longest in the world, after the Great Wall of China. We will visit historic sites, including the wall with its views of the Tigris River. We will also visit a traditional music center, an historic caravanserai and a bridge on the Tigris. This will be a particularly interesting location for photos of daily life.
Day 6 - Following breakfast at the hotel, we will go out of the city to Mount Nemrut. Stopping by the Euphrates River for photos, lunch will be in the town of Kahta by the river in a traditional Kurdish restaurant. In the afternoon, we will visit the stunning archeological site on the mountain top, where, King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built a tomb-sanctuary in 62 BCE. It has huge statues, 8–9 meters high (26–30 ft) of himself and various Greek, Armenian, and Median gods, such as Zeus-Aramazd, Hercules-Vahagn, and Apollo-Mihr-Mithras. Portions of the statues remain, with parts also scattered throughout the site. In the evening we will go the summit of the mountain to view the sunset from this World Heritage site.
Day 7 – We will have breakfast at the hotel in Adiyaman and a quick walkabout in the city center before heading to the Airport.
PRICING + PAYMENT:
810€ per person (payment can be paid in full or in 2 installments, including a 150€ non-refundable deposit)
100€ discount for booking with a friend or partner
Hotel | Breakfast buffet | Transportation | Museum Tickets | Tea + Coffee
does NOT INCLUDE:
Airfare | Visa | Travel Insurance | Meals other than breakfast or Alcohol | Free time activities & expenses